We love to see our zippers out in the wild, in your amazing shops! We recently caught up with Susan, the owner of the Etsy shop, Tres Chic Geek Boutique, and asked her about her story and how she got her shop up and running.
Susan’s shop is really fun, and she has a TON of boxed pouches. You can find a great gift for just about anyone there, from your Star Wars-obsessed kids to your style-conscious friends—or maybe just one for yourself!
I really enjoyed reading Susan’s story, and hearing how sewing has been a theme throughout her life.
When my family moved from S. Korea to my father’s new duty assignment at Ft. Hood, TX, my mom decided to get a job once I was no longer stuck to her hip.
One day, she brought home an industrial Juki that my father nick named, “the mean green sewing machine.” In the 1980’s, many a Korean mother worked as a seamstress and, as a result, their children were drafted to rip seams, turn loops, snip chains, and fetch thread, all the while never touching the good scissors.
For Korean immigrant women, especially those no longer married to the American fathers, working as a seamstress in the Korean owned and run sewing companies meant independence and a guaranteed income because not reading and writing English wasn’t an obstacle.
One day I came home from middle school and the “mean green sewing machine” was gone. My parents had been divorced a few years at this point and she had sold it.
“Do better. Don’t be like mommy. Be smart and get a good job so you don’t have to work a factory job.” That’s what my mom would say after my parents divorced. Now that the Juki was gone, sewing never came up again.
As an adult who saturates her life with the creative processes, it was only a matter of time before sewing and I would cross paths. Growing up without a lot of money and being an artist made me frugal and resourceful. If I saw something I liked, I learned to make it. Drawing, painting, crochet, it didn’t matter. I learned the craft by practicing over and over until I mastered it.
When, I watched Melanie Ham’s zippered box pouch tutorial, I had to make one. I consumed all the sewing YouTube videos I could and decided to take the plunge and invest in a home sewing machine. A couple hundred of pouches later, I can pop a zipper into a project easily!
It’s funny. Even though my mother pushed me away from being a seamstress, sewing has brought us closer. Having her say I’ve done a good job is one thing, but having her claim finished pieces for herself and then brag to her friends about something I made blows my mind!
Sewing is creating something whole from pieces. It mimics life for me and I find that beautiful.
Visit Susan's shop, Tres Chic Geek Boutique.
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